Frequently Asked Questions

Plan Your Northern Michigan Adventure

Frequently Asked Questions | Family Adventure

Take a peek at the answers to my most frequently asked questions so you can get a better sense of what to expect for your family adventure and how to best prepare. And of course feel free to contact me using my contact form if you have any questions.

Josh Hartman – Traverse City Family Photographer


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1. What is an adventure session? How is it different than a normal session?

2. Where do you like to photograph?

3. Will I be required to hike?

4. Do I need to bring anything to my session?

5. What time of day do you like to photograph?

6. Where are you located?

7. Can we bring our dog?

8. What happens if it rains?

9. If we are running late, will you stay later than scheduled?

10. What are the most important things parents can do to help with a family photo session?

11. How much time would be scheduled for our shoot?

12. Do you retain the copyrights to the photos?

13. What can I do with my images? Do you offer prints?

14. Where can I see more of your work?

15. Sounds good. How do I book?

 

kids playing and having fun during family adventure session during family ad

1. What is an adventure session? How is it different than a normal session?

Kick your shoes off, you won’t need them anyways. I encourage play, adventure, and appreciation for the landscapes surrounding us. I’m not your traditional posey photographer, I want to capture the true you. My goal is to create photos that tell a story and capture natural interactions during our shoot. A family adventure is the perfect way to capture genuine smiles, real interactions, and unique perspectives that are eye catching and incorporate the surrounding landscape.

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kids leaping of sleeping bear dunes at family adventure session

 

2. Where do you like to photograph?

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is my favorite spot for a family shoot and where the majority of my photos are taken. There’s just something about those rolling sandy hills leading up to Lake Michigan that is alluring to me. I’ve taken numerous people to the dunes, some already have a love for them because of childhood vacations, or maybe a recent engagement. Sometimes I have the pleasure of introducing this wonderful place to someone new who hasn’t experienced the vast, sandy dunes, and wide open freshwater coastline yet. There are many little trails and beaches to explore, some iconic and recognizable, there are also other lesser known locations you can only find by discovering them yourself, or hearing about them through word of mouth. Each hill, trail, pathway, or dune is unique in it’s own way, and I love that. Take a look at my Best of 2019 blog for some great locations in Northern Michigan.

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I don’t limit myself to this one place though; it’s an ongoing mission to find new places to shoot. I’ve explored everywhere from Michigan to California and know a ton of beautiful spots along the way. So if you’re seeking an adventure session outside of Michigan, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s explore together! 

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parents chasing kids at family adventure session

 

3. Will I be required to hike?

Most of my family adventures are choose your own adventure: we can turn back at any point because it’s all beautiful! If you want to go a little further and your family is feeling up to it, we can always hike a little further. I will be sure to communicate before our session so I can choose a hike that is appropriate for your family. Let me know if you are bringing real little ones, grandparents, or a furry friend so I can accommodate. For some family adventures, we drive around to beautiful spots with very little hiking.

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child and parents at family adventure session

 

4. Do I need to bring anything to my session? 

On your adventure, all you really need is yourself. I recommend drinking some water before you leave for your session and maybe bringing a light snack. Please come prepared with pack to carry any extra layers and any other items for you. I want your hands free to play for the photos. Oh, one more thing. Don’t forget to leave your cell phone in the car. It shows up in pockets and you won’t need it anyway. You’ll have so many professional photos to choose after your adventure shoot.

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5. What time of day do you like to photograph?

Sunrise is best for iconic locations if we want to get there before the crowds while still getting that early morning glow. That ensures our photos have an even lighting and dreamy vibe. Sunrise is also highly recommended for weekends and holidays when things are busier.

Sunset is great if you aren’t a morning person but still want the surreal colors in the sky. Golden Hour is worth more than photos mid-day, but many of my favorite photos are captured in the middle of the day as well. Let’s chat about the best time for photos for your family.

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best time of day to photograph family adventure session

 

6. Where are you located?

I’m a nomadic Michigander who is always on the go. I spend my summers in my homestate of Michigan. May through October I spend the majority of my time in Traverse City, Michigan. In the winter I seek different landscapes, especially out west, with California being my second favorite U.S. State. I live in a camper small enough to pull behind my Subaru. At about 75 square feet and 2000 pounds, it’s just the right size for my home and mobile studio. Having the freedom to travel also allows me to commute across the country for family photos. In May through October, you’ll often find me camped at Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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7. Can we bring our dog?

PLEASE bring your dog! I get it, your fur baby is a part of the family.  My lifestyle doesn’t allow me to have a dog myself, so I love when I get to play with other people’s dogs. Just let me know ahead of time so we can find a dog friendly hike and don’t forget the treats and water. I also recommend exercising your dog before our adventure.

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family holding and cuddling with puppies during a family adventure session

 

8. What happens if it rains?

As a Michigan photographer, I often deal with sporadic hard to predict weather. Light rain does not affect my sessions. My adventurous families typically tune it out or choose to embrace the weather by showing in cute rain jackets, rubber boots and accessories such as umbrellas. Rain often brings dramatic clouds too. With medium to heavy rain I have to protect my camera gear so the sessions will often be rescheduled. Rain will often blow over very quickly in Northern Michigan, so we might wait it out. I do always leave space in my schedule to accommodate rescheduled shoots.  

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family dangling there feet at family adventure session

 

9. If we are running late, will you stay later than scheduled?

Dog ate your car keys, your child falls in the mud or you get caught in traffic!  Unforeseen circumstances happen. Although I prefer to start my session at the scheduled times I leave a little time in between my scheduling to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Don’t worry. I’m flexible. Once you arrive to the session location I will be able to let you know how I can assist you. My one request is a text or call so I am aware of your circumstances.  

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three girls chasing each other during family adventure session

 

10. What are the most important things parents can do to help with a family photo session? 

I encourage parents to talk with their children about the photo session well in advance. Show them pictures of all the children laughing and playing on my website. Build it up as if it’s a holiday or you are reuniting with an old family friend. Make sure your family gets a good night’s sleep and arrives well fed.  

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kids playing in water at family adventure session

 

11. How much time would be scheduled for our shoot?

Family sessions typically run an hour and half.  I like to allow for enough time for natural moments in a variety of landscapes.

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12. Do you retain the copyrights to the photos?

Yes, as your professional family photographer, I will retain copyrights of all your images. I always provide an official copyright release for you. The release gives you freedom to use your family photos for personal use and print them wherever you like. I reserve the right to publish your photos; however, this is negotiable. I respect your privacy. I do hope you’ll agree that your photos are amazing enough to share! 

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large family standing on dunes during family adventure session

 

13. What can I do with my images? Do you offer prints?

You have unlimited printing and sharing rights. That means you are able to post them wherever you’d like. You are able to print them anywhere at your own convenience. I also offer professional printing services right through my website, this includes regular prints, canvases, and even albums. 

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family adventure session group shot

 

14. Where can I see more of your work?

To visit my gallery of images, click here: Traverse City Family Photographer

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15. Sounds good. How do I book?

All that’s required is my session fee accompanied with a signed contract to reserve your day in my calendar. I have many ways to make this as easy as possible for you so don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. I’m available in Northern Michigan from May through October. You can also reach me through my contact page here.

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2 girls wearing pink dress during family session

 

 

 

 

 

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